Evaluation is all around

Beginning a new semester I strive to find ways to illustrate that evaluative thinking is all around, and indeed may by the most ubiquitous form of thinking that we as humans do. In the words of The Troggs…

I feel it in my fingers
I feel it in my toes
[Evaluation] is all around me
And so the feeling grows

There are plenty of examples like Consumer Reports or Rotten Tomatoes or The Wine Spectator. But there is nothing like the many TV contest shows for entertaining examples of evaluation. This term my class watched the show Four Weddings and analyzed how the evaluation was done. It is quite a rich example that illustrates the logic of evaluation including such things as:

    > the complexity of establishing criteria, including the need for far more specificity than one might think
    > relative weighting of criteria
    > the slippery and amorphous nature of standards
    > how grading and ranking differ, but can be combined in a single evaluation
    > what the attributes of a good evaluator might be

It’s written on the wind
It’s everywhere I go, oh yes, it is
So if you really [evaluate]
Come on and let it show

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